HDR Photography Explained

HDR is an interesting form of photography which takes software to recompose.  The concept is to take 3 pictures.  One normal exposure, one under exposed (dark), and one over exposed (bright).  Then the software can combine them to add detail to the picture that you would not normally have.  This concept gives you closer to human vision through your camera.

HDR Normal Exposure
HDR Under Exposure
HDR Over Exposure
HDR Completed

HDR is pretty artistic and sometimes people push the color levels to brighten the image to a point that is over done.  This HDR can be realistic or sometimes pretty fake looking.  I tend to find myself pushing the color levels a little far.

So now, you’ve got to be wondering – how do you do it?  What do you need?

  1. Well, the first thing you need is a camera that is capable of taking the three shots automatically.  I use a Canon EOS 5i Rebel.  It has the capabilities but you’ll want to watch a video on how to set it up.
  2. A sturdy tripod.
  3. A remote picture trigger.  I use a wired one that plugs into the side of my camera.  I think I paid less than $10 for it at Amazon.
  4. Software.  I am using Aurora HD to process.  Seems to work well.  I know that PhotoShop has a plugin for processing HDR, Canon software that ships with the camera can do it too.  Also, Affinity Photo on the Mac processes HDR very well.

My favorite picture that I’ve taken recently in HDR, I also combined in slow shutter speed because it was running water in a creek.  It is pretty interesting looking.

The combination of the three images add a lot of detail to the stones but the vibration of the falling water did add a slight shake to the tripod which is evident on the stones on the left side of the picture.  Still a very beautiful picture.  Other than running it through the HDR software, no enhancements were done.

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